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tv   CBS Evening News With Norah O Donnell  CBS  December 18, 2019 6:30pm-7:01pm PST

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captioning sponsored by cbs >> o'donnell: breaking news tonight: a moment in history. the vote to impeach president donald trump. >> article i is adopted. >> o'donnell: in washington, a house divided. the partisan anger and the bitter debate. >> that's a bunch of bunk. >> if we did that, we would likely get indicted. >> impeach trump! impeach trump! >> o'donnell: across america, a nation divided, protests, frustration, and the fallout. >> the weather outside is frightful, but impeachment is so delightful. >> o'donnell: supporters line up in michigan's 15-degree weather to hear him speak. >> i think the case has a lot of holes in it, and i think the average american has kind of tuned it out. >> o'donnell: his first reaction tonight as the president headlines a merry christmas
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campaign rally in a battleground state. and a lesson from high school students-- a mock impeachment vote, and what they can teach us about coming together as a nation. this is the "cbs evening news" with norah o'donnell. reporting from the nation's capital. >> o'donnell: and good evening to our viewers in the west. history has just been made as we come on the air. for only the third time in american history, the house of representatives has voted to impeach a president. donald trump has just joined bill clinton and andrew johnson on that list. and in both of those cases, the senate voted not to remove them from office. now, members in the house have just approved on both counts, those two counts-- abuse of power, the second count obstruction of congress. now, this impeachment all stems from charges that president trump pressured ukraine to investigate a political rival
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enlisting foreign interference ln a u.s. election. oow, the votes followed largely along party lines. all but two democrats voted yes on that first count, three voting yes on the second. every single republican voted no. reroughout this, president trump has remained defiant, repeatedly claiming he did nothing wrong. he's called the impeachment an attempted coup and assault on america, and as the votes were taken, the president was speaking at a campaign rally in michigan surrounded by his supporters. we turn now to nancy cordes who leads us off on capitol hill. itncy. nc reporter: norah, there is no victory lap from democrats this evening. they say this is a somber moment with few winners. throughout the day, as the two ebdes bitterly debated these articles of impeachment, lawmakers invoked the founders, the bible, even world war ii, to try to convey how momentous this is. a> on this vote, want yeas are
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230. the nays are 197. present is 1. optecle i is adopted. >> reporter: tonight's historic vote comes just five months after that fateful phone call in enich president trump asked ukraine for a favor. >> as speaker of the house i solemnly and sadly open the debate on the impeachment of the president of the united states. >> why do we keep calling this a solemn occasion when you've been wanting to do this ever since the gentleman was elected? >> reporter: more than 200 house members registered their views today for posterity. >> you're about to impeach a duly elected president who has done nothing wrong. >> enough is enough. we must protect our constitution, our democracy. f passage of these arms of tlpeachment may permanently damage our republic. >> when is it ever right for a president to intimidate a
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foreign leader into announce false investigations into a political rival? >> i hope that we will finally move past this nightmare and get to work on deliver results for the american people. >> article i, abuse of power. >> reporter: the articles of impeachment accuse president trump of soliciting foreign interference for corrupt purposes and then trying to cover it up. >> this was, quite simply, a geopolitical shake down. >> he came on to the white house lawn and he said, "i wanted president zelensky to open an investigation into the bidens." >> the evidence is overwhelming that he withheld military aid, approved by congress. >> the majority has not found a single shred of evidence, only second-, third-, fourth-hand information. >> no one in america could do what donald trump did and get away with it. >> this is a bunch of bunk. the president has certain individual and privileges by virtue of his office. >> the gentleman from wisconsin knows full well the president
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asserted no privileges here. he simply ordered complete defiance of the impeachment inquiry. >> reporter: republicans accused democrats of a personal vendetta,. >> it's a sham. >> it's a sham impeachment. >> from the beginning, this has been a sham. >> you simply don't like him. >> they hate this president. they hate those of us who voted for him. >> we don't hate the president, but i love my country, and i have no other choice. i just last week, rudy giuliani was back at it in ukraine, so, upease, don't tell us to wait uecause the corruption continues. >> i want to use my time to call on this chamber, for members to rise and observe a moment of silent reflection. and remember the voices of the 63 million american voters the democrats today are wanting to silence. >> reporter: pennsylvania
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republican mike kelley likened the impact of impeachment to the pearl harbor bombing. >> this is a terrible time. this is a date that will live in infamy. >> dear ellie and james ... >> reporter: massachusetts democrat joe kennedy addressed his remarks to his children. >> let the record show that today, justice won, that we did our job. >> o'donnell: and nancy joins us now from the hill. the question now, nancy, what happens with these articles of impeachment? s> reporter: well, the process aklls for house speaker nancy pelosi to name impeachment ennagers who would then physically walk these articles of impeachment over to the senate for a speedy trial. but she hasn't done that yet. and there is a discussion under psy about perhaps delaying the process to give the senate time to take some crucial votes on spending and on trade. and there are some democrats, norah, who they say should hold off until they get some assurances from the republicans
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eho run the senate that this is going to be a robust trial that stvolves new witnesses. ew o'donnell: per the constitution, the senate's role is to decide whether to remove the president from office. that has never happened in american history. thd with republicans controlling the senate, that is unlikely to happen this time. thank you, nancy. en should note, president trump is currently addressing a christmas-themed campaign rally in battle creek, michigan. and it's provided quite a split- screen moment. weijia jiang is there. and, weijia, what have we heard from the president thus far? >> reporter: well, norah, ntesident trump wanted to carefully choreograph this historic appearance. he showed up to the stage over ure hour late, this was, apparently, no accident. the vice president told the crowd that he first wanted to see the historic unified republican vote on capitol hill. that didn't happen. he came out and within a couple of minutes, started attacking. the president tonight was defiant.
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>> we did nothing wrong. we did nothing wrong. and we have tremendous support in the republican party, like we've never had before. nobody's ever had this kind of support. >> reporter: mr. trump attacked the house process and the people behind it. >> crazy nancy pelosi's house democrats. ( booing ) have branded themselves with an eternal mark of shame. and it really is. it's a disgrace. after three years of sinister witch hunts, hoaxes, scams, eonight the house democrats are trying to nullify the ballots of tens of millions of patriot americans. e> reporter: he came to battle creek, michigan because it's a critical battleground state. it's also in the district represented by congressman justin amash, who abandoned the republican party and switched to an independent after declaring he supported impeaching president trump. >> the radical left in congress
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is consumed with hatred and envy and rage. you see what's going on. ( booing ) i'll tell you, these people are crazy. >> reporter: for most of the day, the president was out of sight but paying attention to he house debate tweeting out attacks on the democrats. sources tell cbs news mr. trump is furious his legacy will now b permanently tarnished by apeachment, and specifically, that his name will forever be linked with the last president i be impeached, bill clinton. >> i just said to the first ldy, "you're so lucky i took fu on this fantastic journey. it's so much fun. they want to impeach you. they want to do worse than that." >> reporter: despite the results in the house, president trump said he'll fight the trial in fe senate, slated to begin early next year. >> this lawless partisan impeachment is a political suicide march for the democrat harty. you have seen my polls in the last four weeks? ( cheers and applause ) >> reporter: well, the trump campaign says it is convinced
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impeachment will help president trump win a second term. tonight, they sent a fund- raising text to supporters that said, "dems just voted to impeach. and he, the president, wants a list of donors because he will make them three to one. norah, he vowed to fight the democrats who he accused tonight of bringing suffering to the republic with impeachment. >> o'donnell: all right, weijia jiang there. thank you, let's bring in major garrett, our chief washington correspondent, and margaret brennan, the moderator of "face o e nation." margaret, this was the culmination of 30 hours of public testimony, 12 witnesses, enl with largely the same story. i want to go to the substance of this, which is that the president invited ukraine to try and investigate a political rival. >> reporter: that's right. and withheld aid already approved by the u.s. congress in ife hopes of pressuring the ukrainian president to at least announce, if not follow through :n investigation. >> o'donnell: the ambassador to the european union says it was a quid pro quo. tl reporter: yes, exactly that.
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the one sort of caveat he threw in was the president didn't directly tell him. and that is where republicans have pointed time and time again. no one actually heard the "i'm using this to bribe." but there was a consistent string of state department and national security officials who aestified under oath that they were witness to the planning of this, the conversations, both at the white house and in ukraine, ho exert this pressure, to get something in return-- ececifically, an investigation opened into the former vice president and his son as regards ukrainian gas company that anyter biden served on the board o. >> o'donnell: major, we heard the argument from the republicans today that this was an accelerated timeline. >> reporter: yes. >> o'donnell: that it happened so quickly, and that it was one of the thinnest records ever to impeach a president. >> reporter: right. iw, part of that is because the dite house didn't provide mecuments or witnesses, did not cooperate. that's the underlying basis for the obstruction of congress
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starge. but republicans also said all these allegations sound terrible and scary and threatening of the constitution. emt you didn't prove them. in the end, the aid was released. the ukrainians have said over and over they felt no pressure. so republicans take all of those public utterances and fact patterns and say, "democrats you sre unfairly inferring the worst about this president," irich is what, republicans said, democrats always do. the democrats said wait a ,inute, wait a minute. this fact pattern is clear. you're ignoring a clear body of evidence and testimonial titnesses who said to them, "this is not only what it looked like. this is what it felt like, and this is how we were all talking about it." and you can't ignore that, .emocrats said. >> o'donnell: you know, one of the things we saw as we look ick in history, it was almost 21 years ago that bill clinton mas impeached in the house of representatives. before that happened, he was bmorseful in the rose garden. president trump is by no means apologizing.
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he is fighting hard. >> reporter: he is true to his brand of doubling down and, basically, the answer being, "so what?" from the beginning, with releasing the so-called canscript or call record saying, "okay, you're saying there are questions here. rere you go. take a look at my record of things." rudy giuliani just in the past few days, his personal attorney, tas gone on multiple television shows and described his effort to remove the ambassador to the raraine because he thought she was getting in way of his personal agenda. so all of that seems bold, it's brazen. it is very president trump. and he will now run as the very first president to ever be impeached and then had to go out on the campaign trail and run for re-election. and we don't know if there's ultimately a political cost to him on that level. but for today, it certainly hurts. >> o'donnell: and that's what's extraordinary about this, because both clinton and nixon were in their second terms. nixon, of course, resigned after that r om the supreme liurt, and bill clinton was in nts second term and was able to
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m rve that time out. thd that's what's different is this is the first time in our history-- >> reporter: we are plowing night into a re-election campaign. or will be a stark reminder of leat the president did, what he says he didn't do, and the underlying presumptions that feed into democratic and republican attitudes about president trump. umpeachment will be locked in to the 2020 conversation. 'd o'donnell: absolutely. all right, major garrett, margaret brennan, thank you. now, congress voted essentially iaong party lines on impeachment. oet what does the rest of the country think? well, dean reynolds looks at how ooters coast to coast are reacting to the impeachment, and he got an earful. >> the house will be in order. >> reporter: as history was made in washington today, a divided country dug in. >> any time you seek to use your office for your personal, political or monetary gain, then you should be impeached. >> reporter: do you think the charges are bogus? >> yes, i do, completely, 100% bogus. >> politics is a crazy game. i don't get caught up in it.
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>> reporter: at frank's diner in canotoa, wisconsin, the state a neoperty won by a near 23,000 votes, steve lawless said mr. trump deserves what he gets. >> i don't think he's been a good president. i think he has broken a lot of laws. he broke a lot of laws before he was president. yeah, i'm all for it. >> reporter: but at p.j.'s cafe in dallas, tv monitors told an impeachment story almost no one was buying. >> the comicrats trying to overthrow a dual elected president we put in office rtarmts >> reporter: the responses confirmed that stubborn partisanship is cleaving the country. the latest cbs news polling shows 42% favor the property's ilmoval while 42% do not. in san francisco... i don't think anybody's mind is being changed because of the proceedings.
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>> reporter: in miami, some said the day was one for the books. >> i think it is a great turning point in american history, and a reminder that nobody is above the law. >> reporter: the president's backers were outspoken in iowa, even as they expressed misgivings about his style. >> i think he's been effective in what he's done. do i think he's a nice person? or would i want to invite him in my home to meet my wife and daughters? no. >> reporter: there was some ambivalence here in wisconsin. de i'm not in favor of president trump. but at the same time, i don't think the impeachment is going to work and he's going to stay in office anyway. >> reporter: and there was fatigue in ohio. >> i am tired of the impeachment. really, i haven't tuned in because it's kind of depressing. >> reporter: and on that note, people both sides of impeachment told us one thing over and over, untr they have never seen this country so bitterly divided and wish there was some way to bridge the gap.
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norah. >> o'donnell: indeed, dean, thank you. as tonight's vote played out at the capitol, top democratic candidates were gathering in los angeles ahead of their next debate, and ed o'keefe reports impeachment is very much on their minds. >> reporter: tomorrow night, some of them will battle it out on the debate stage here in california. but today, the democratic presidential candidates agree on impeaching president trump. >> the fact pattern is clear-- he used his public office for his own personal good. >> the evidence is very clear. this president violated his oath of office. >> reporter: the calls for napeachment began in april with senator elizabeth warren after the release of the mueller report. >> the president engages in this kind of activity, then it's time for impeachment. >> reporter: one by one, her opponents jumped on board. former vice president joe biden, mr. trump's target for an investigation in ukraine, was the last to do so. >> donald trump has violated his oath of office, betrayed this chtion and committed impeachable
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acts. >> reporter: our polls show democratic voters overwhelmingly support impeaching the president, but they want to hear more about beating him. democrats also want their candidates to talk about the issues, like health care, climate change, and jobs. >> we cannot simply be consumed by donald trump because if we are, you know what? we're going to lose the election. >> reporter: bernie sanders is one of five candidates who are also senators. they would have to be in washington for an impeachment trial, taking them off the campaign trail in the weeks just myfore voting begins. >> if i-- my constitutional duty requires me to be in washington for this incredibly important moment in our country's history, i will be there. >> o'donnell: ed joins us now. ed, that's so interesting, because iowa is february 3. new hampshire february 11. what are these senators going to do if they have to be in washington? oiw are they going to keep the vementum going on their campaigns. >> reporter: it's a unique challenge, norah. id've never really seen a
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presidential campaign this late in the cycle shoved aside by something going on in washington. the senators who are running for president tell us they're likely to do things like hold telephone town halls each night after the trial and then find ways to quickly get back up on the on the campaign trail, either during breaks or once it's all over. one thing they made clear, is they will all be at this trial. candidates like joe biden, and pete buttigeig, will have iowa all to themselves, potentially a very big advantage to them come january. >> o'donnell: a really bteresting point. thank you. teill ahead on tonight "cbs evening news", what we can learn from high schoolers-- that's right, an impeachment debate where insults have no place. drill?
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>> does everybody agree that an inquire is okay? raise your hand. >> reporter: tracy downey's advanced placement u.s. history class is discussing president trump's impeachment. >> this affects the future. >> reporter: they're students at ridge community high school outside orlando in a county the president won in 2016. >> i think this may be, like, a political hit to-- for impeachment, because he's not going to get removed. >> you could argue by us not going ahead with it just because we don't think it the passed in the senate, that if you have the support of the senate behind you, then you can do whatever you want. >> they handle it more like adults than the adults are handling it right now. >> reporter: really? >> oh, yes. if you're going to say, "i think that we should impeach him," okay, great, why? and then they have to back it up. >> reporter: unlike those in washington, there's no name calling or grandstanding. >> all of this is bringing out how we feel about trump, not do we think he should be impeached? >> reporter: instead, patience and, notably, civility. >> it's okay for us to differ in
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our opinions. hink don't think anybody's wrong for having an opinion. >> and it doesn't define you. >> the only wrong opinion is an uninformed one. >> reporter: so the big question t en is regardless whether the impeachment goes through or not, is how do we come together as a country? t> i think we have to start having conversations with people like they are people. we have to stop treating people like they are just a political n rty. >> reporter: an important lesson for us all. manuel bojorquez, cbs news, davenport, florida. >> o'donnell: and how much our vote matters. we'll be right back. do you have concerns about mild memory loss related to aging? prevagen is the number one pharmacist-recommended memory support brand. you can find it in the vitamin aisle in stores everywhere. prevagen. healthier brain. better life. too shabby!
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introducing the capital one walmart rewards card. earn unlimited 5% back on everything you buy at walmart online... ♪what's in your wallet? a area rain slowing down the evening commute. how much more to expect. next at 7 pm. >> o'donnell: and to bring you up to date, for just the third time in american history the house has voted to impeach a president. two counts were approved a short time ago: abuse of power and obstruction of congress. the vote was along party lines. all but a hand full of democrats voted to impeach. every republican voted no. there were no defections. now this moves on to the senate, where there will be a trial on whether to remove the president from office, and the trial is expected in the first weeks of the new year. it will be presided over by the chief justice of the supreme court.
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that's t
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a live look at the wet ride home. rain soaking the bay area roads from will it last all night and what about the weekend? article 1 is adopted. the question is on --. president trump just the third u.s. president ever to be impeached. he is on the campaign trail drawing a huge crowd and railing on democrats moments ago. they are the ones that should be impeached every one of them. a live look at the richmond bridge. we are on storm watch right now. on the news at 7 pm and streaming on bay area.

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